As two elephants walked to the parking lot of the Jones Road soccer fields, one grabbed hold of the other's tail.
Chang and Lulu, elephants from the Cole Brothers circus, basked as members of the hosed them down on Saturday morning, opening their mouths wide to get a drink.
“It was awesome,” said James Ivins of the Forked River Fire Company. “I’ve never been that close to an elephant before. I’m a 45-year-old kid.”
Chang laid down as if he were taking a break from the active lifestyle of show business. He would later be performing for Jersey Shore residents.
This is the second year the Forked River Fire Company partnered with Cole Brothers for a fundraiser.
President Jim Granato had found a letter from the circus company two years ago and thought the partnership could really benefit the fire company.
The fire company sells tickets at the department two weeks prior to the show, receiving a portion of the proceeds. Last year, the company earned approximately $7,000.
“It’s a win-win,” Granato said. “It helps us. Everyone who went last year enjoyed it.”
Prior to heading back to the Cole Brothers’ tent to prepare for the big day, Chang and Lulu were fed dozens of apples.
The tips of their trunks grabbed the apples like a vacuum. They then curled their trunks to toss the apple in their mouths and swallowed the fruit whole, one after another. Chang and Lulu’s trunks went from person to person looking for more.
The Cole Brothers “Circus of the Stars” is from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
The show features the elephants, tigers, French poodles, springboard gymnasts, a Russian Barre routine, a magician, the human cannonball, clowns and more.